John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education


JNGI 2018 Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference

March 25-27, 2018, Westin Galleria Hotel, Houston, TX

Hundreds of institutional leaders, faculty, student success specialists, teaching and learning technology and institutional research professionals will join us at the JNGI 2018 Gateway Course Experience Conference to create and/or improve support for students in gateway courses.

The call for proposals (CFP) is now closed

Register Now

Connect and Learn:

  • Engage in cross functional discussions about excellence in teaching, faculty development, and curriculum redesign
  • Discover the latest promising practices
  • Explore early warning systems, analytics, academic help labs, and other tools and/or approaches
  • Discuss pre-enrollment placement and preparation strategies
  • Develop further understanding of the body of knowledge about gateway courses and completion

Who Should Attend:

  • Institutional leaders interested in learning more about the role of gateway courses in student success and completion
  • Faculty who teach, coordinate and/or develop curriculum for high enrollment courses and/or high risk gateway courses
  • Student success staff actively involved with supporting student achievement in high enrollment and/or high risk gateway courses
  • Information technology staff involved in the development and application of learner analytics to improve institutional and student performance in gateway courses
  • Institutional research and/or institutional effectiveness staff interested in learning about the application of data to improve teaching and learning in gateway courses

Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Danette Howard, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Lumina Foundation for Education

Philip Uri Treisman, Professor of Mathematics, Professor of Public Affairs & Executive Director, The Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Featured Sessions

Authors’ Panel: Improving Teaching, Learning, Equity, and Success in Gateway Courses — A New Directions in Higher Education Special Edition:  Moderator:  Betsy Barefoot, Senior Scholar, Gardner Institute, Panelists: Isis Artze-Vega, Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Florida International University & Gardner Institute Fellow; Greg Heileman, Associate Provost for Student and Academic Life, University of Kentucky; Andrew Koch, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gardner Institute; Susannah McGowan, Teaching Fellow in the King’s Learning Institute at King’s College London and Gardner Institute Fellow

Deep Teaching:  A conceptual model for inclusive teaching in higher education: Moderator: Scott Evenbeck, President Guttman Community College, Presenter:  Bryan Dewsbury, Gardner Institute Fellow and Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Rhode Island

The Emerging Learning System — Creating Intentional Connection Between Gateway Course Redesign and Other Significant Institutional Learning Initiatives: Moderator:  Nicole McDonald, Strategy Officer, Lumina Foundation for Education, Presenter: Michael Tew, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President Academic Programming and Services, Eastern Michigan University; Presenter: Lisa Nienkark, Professor of Reading, Lansing Community College

Lessons Learned from G2C Schools:  Moderator: Sara Stein Koch, Gardner Institute Fellow and Senior Associate for Institutional Support, Gardner Institute, Presenter: Bhavani Balasubramanian, Director of Freshman Chemistry, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Presenter: Julie Howdeshell, Director of Quality Enhancement, University of Southern Mississippi, Presenter: Jody Craig Grammer, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Presenter: Randy Paape, Professor of Accounting and Faculty Program Chair, Lansing Community College


Schedule and List of Sessions 

Sunday, March 25th

12:00 – 3:00 pm – Onsite Check In
3:00 – 5:00 pm – Opening and Plenary Talk from Uri Treisman
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Reception

Monday, March 26th

7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast Buffet
8:00 – 9:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
9:15 – 10:15 am – Concurrent Sessions
10:15 – 10:30 am – Morning Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Concurrent Sessions
11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Lunch and Plenary Talk from Danette Howard, Lumina Foundation
1:00 – 2:00 pm – Concurrent Sessions
2:15 – 3:15 pm – Concurrent Sessions
3:15 – 3:30 pm  – Afternoon Break
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Concurrent Sessions
4:45 – 5:45 pm – Featured Sessions

Tuesday, March 27th

7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast Buffet
8:00 – 9:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
9:15 – 10:15 am – Concurrent Sessions
10:15 – 10:30 am – Morning Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Featured Sessions
11:45 am – 12:15 pm – Closing Session



Register Now!

Hotel Room Rate: $179 per night, The Conference hotel (Westin Galleria Houston) is sold out, but the Westin Oaks in the Galleria Mall (3 minute walk) room block is available. Click here to book your hotel room.

Fee for Conference: Fee $595 before February 1st. $650 starting February 1st. $50 group discount. Free registration for Chief Academic Officer (no surrogates allowed) if four other registrants attend from one institution. Email Angie Whiteside at to redeem this offer when the four people have registered. Full time undergraduate student rate – $250, please email Angie Whiteside to redeem this offer

Pre Conference Workshops: $175 (there are three to choose from) – 8 am to 12 pm, breakfast from 7:15 – 8 am.

Contact: Please contact Angela Whiteside ( or 828-449-8053) with questions or comments.


Preconference Workshops

#1 Reimagining Academic Advising to Support a Culture of Success

Presenter:  Charlie Nutt, Executive Director, NACADA

Description:  At many institutions, academic advising still supports a culture of scheduling/registration or a culture of compliance by the ways in which academic advising is organized, delivered, and defined for the campus community, including students.

As institutions begin to seriously analyze the issues involving student success on their campuses, including success in Gateway Courses impacting their student completion rate, it is essential that such institutions carefully analyze the academic advising experiences of students throughout their tenure at an institution.

In this preconference workshop, participants will learn the key connections between academic advising and student success/completion, the process and steps for conducting an analysis of academic advising at both the unit and institutional levels, and how to develop and implement an action plan for implementing changes in the academic advising experiences of students.

Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop a brief summary of the present academic advising structures and organizational models at their institutions with the reasons for why these exist.

Participant Learning Outcomes: Participants will learn:

  • The role that quality academic advising plays in improving student success
  • The variety of approaches of academic advising delivery
  • The role that data must play in analyzing what issues exist in regard to student success on a campus
  • Methods for analyzing the academic advising experiences of students
  • Methods of developing an action plan for implementation on their campus

#2 Throwing Open the Gates: Replicating and Scaling Up the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) 

Presenter:  Susan Gabriel, Director, Accelerated Learning Program and Associate Professor of English, Community College of Baltimore County

Description: Since its start in 2007, the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), a co-requisite acceleration model for developmental writing at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), has more than doubled the success rate in the gateway composition course for CCBC students and has been adopted by nearly 300 schools nationwide.  The session will begin with an overview of ALP at CCBC; attendees will then work collaboratively to discuss strategies and challenges for starting and scaling up ALP at their schools.  This workshop will benefit those who are thinking about replicating ALP, as well as those working to scale existing ALP initiatives.

#3 Transparent Instruction Promotes Equitable Opportunities for Student Success

Presenter:  Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Director of Instructional Development and Research and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Department of History at the University Nevada, Las Vegas

Description: Data from an AAC&U study of students’ Learning at seven Minority-Serving Institutions identifies transparent assignment design (involving faculty/student discussion about the relevant knowledge, skills to be practiced, required tasks, expected criteria and examples before students begin working) as a replicable teaching intervention that significantly enhances students’ success, with greater gains for historically underserved students [Winkelmes et al, Peer Review, Spring 2016]. Underserved students are the new incoming majority student population in US higher education, and transparent instruction shows great promise for increasing their confidence, sense of belonging, persistence and success. We’ll review the findings, share resources for working with faculty at your institution, and consider implementation strategies that can engage campus leaders and instructional faculty in using transparent instruction to combat inequity in college students’ opportunities to succeed.

#4 Digital Storytelling in Gateway Courses: Providing effective pedagogical, technological and classroom support for Faculty.

Presenter: Carol A. HurneyFounding Director, Center for Teaching and Learning at Colby College

Description: Digital storytelling is a relatively new way to tell stories using digital media such as audio and video that can be publicly displayed via blogs, websites and social media. Pedagogically, digital storytelling is growing in popularity as a way to engage learners using this form of communication as a way to increase their communications skills, but also as way to deepen understanding of traditional disciplinary content through immersive research and digital story production. Digital storytelling leverages the ways that our brains are wired to learn through experiences where students, instead of faculty, construct knowledge via digital stories. How might teaching excellence program and/or center leaders support faculty use of this robust pedagogy?

This workshop will help leaders of teaching excellence programs and centers explore strategies to support the pedagogical and technological needs of faculty in their efforts to transform gateway courses using digital storytelling pedagogy. Specifically, participants will examine (1) the elements of a digital storytelling framework used to transform a non-majors, general education biology course, (2) technologies required to successfully implement the framework, and (3) additional support structures that teaching excellence program and/or center leaders can provide to ensure a high-impact digital storytelling experience for students.

Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

CFP Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference (is now closed, please submit for the 2019 conference)

March 25-27, 2018 Houston, TX

Please complete the form, print, and return the proposal by email:

Submission deadline: December 1, 2017





We invite you to participate in the JNGI 2018 Gateway Course Experience Conference at the Westin Galleria Hotel, Houston, TX.  This conference offers many opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors to connect with motivated and on-target prospects while also demonstrating support for higher education’s efforts to improve student success.

Options include:

  • Exhibitor
  • Exhibitor with Concurrent Session
  • Variety of Sponsorship with Concurrent Sessions
  • Conference App Ads

Exhibitor and Sponsor Information

2018 Exhibitors

John N. Gardner Institute






Endorsing Organizations

2018 Endorsing Organizations